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How Improving EV Charging Infrastructure Can Bolster US Cybersecurity Measures

How Improving EV Charging Infrastructure Can Bolster US Cybersecurity Measures

By Elaina Farnsworth, Co-founder & CEO — SkillFusion

The surging popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) is marking a strong push toward overall sustainability for the United States. However, as EV adoption becomes more widespread, the need for a reliable and secure EV charging infrastructure becomes more apparent.

EV charging stations are increasing their capabilities year by year, such as expanded power delivery systems and better networking and sharing of data analytics. As innovations surrounding the electrification of transportation continue to emerge, concern over the political, economic, and logistical risks associated with cyberattacks grows.

Cybercriminals are becoming savvier, and attacks that target EV charging stations can affect crucial services from the supply chain to medical services. Securing the EV charging infrastructure and assuring that the new EV-aligned workforce has training in cybersecurity specifics will be necessary considerations to keep the EV revolution going and strengthen the country’s trust in the EV charging network.

A secure network

As part of its Infrastructure Bill, the Biden Administration pledged to build 500,000 new EV charging stations by 2030. To bring this plan to fruition, the expanded EV-adjacent workforce promised by government officials will need to focus on skill-building in EV charging station cybersecurity.

We know that cyberattacks on the current and future EV charging infrastructure are bound to occur. Cybercriminals are improving their methods day by day, and cybersecurity professionals must do the same. What is critical is an understanding of how a robust EV infrastructure supports overall national security.

To safeguard against the onslaught of cyber threats that are bound to come against a network as widespread as the proposed EV charging network of the near future, specially trained technicians must employ the latest encryption protocols, authentication approaches, and secure communication channels. These cybersecurity best practices work to safeguard the charging infrastructure from unauthorized access that could bring the entire network down.

In addition, initiatives that seek to strengthen the EV charging infrastructure must include the integration of cybersecurity standards industry-wide. The creation and implementation of standards across the entire expanded network will ensure compliance and reliability, no matter the manufacturer or network.

Going forward, the expanded EV charging infrastructure will require advanced monitoring and detection of vulnerabilities that could lead to issues across the network. Measures such as AI-aided monitoring or digital twin technology could allow cybersecurity professionals to anticipate issues before they become catastrophic.

Lastly, any government initiatives that seek to expand the security of the EV charging network must include allowances for research and development. One constant of the sustainability movement is chance, and innovations are emerging at breakneck speed. Cybersecurity technologies such as firmware updates and ongoing solutions such as better intrusion detection systems will need to keep pace with the EV charging market.

On the road to secure energy independence

In the race toward zero emissions and more energy independence, all signs point to the US being on the right track. Cybersecurity for the EV charging infrastructure, both current and future, will play a critical role as we work toward more sustainable transportation.

A secure charging network will build trust in EV drivers. The current EV infrastructure has run up against some reliability challenges, with studies showing that 20% is inoperable at any given time. With better attention paid to training and deploying skilled technicians to support the current and planned charging network, reliability will improve over time. If the network’s security can be included in those improvements, EV drivers will begin to have more faith in the network as a whole.

Strong cybersecurity measures will prevent disruptions in the network, assuring that people will be able to charge their vehicles. In addition, large fleets of electric vehicles being used to transport goods will be able to operate uninterrupted, supporting the national and global supply chain’s goal of zero emissions.

EV charging networks are increasingly interconnected with energy grids. A more robust cybersecurity plan for the EV charging infrastructure means a more protected grid system, supporting a renewable energy system and promoting a sustainable energy ecosystem.

The road to energy independence and a more sustainable future will be paved by the cybersecurity professionals who serve as the strongest frontline defense against bad actors who are consistently improving their tactics. By remaining one step ahead of cybercriminals in innovation and security measure best practices, we can secure the EV charging network and allow the EV revolution to continue moving forward.

About the Author

How Improving EV Charging Infrastructure Can Bolster US Cybersecurity MeasuresElaina Farnsworth is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of SkillFusion, a cutting-edge customer success platform for electric vehicle service equipment (EVSE) operations and maintenance (O&M) providers. With a passion and career-long dedication to talent and workforce development and community engagement, Farnsworth is focused on growing a certified talent pool with SkillFusion to operate and maintain electric vehicle chargers and facilitate the growth of the charging network across the country. Prior to SkillFusion, Farnsworth was the CEO of The Next Education where she developed best-in-class continuing education and certification programs designed to upskill and reskill the workforce in automotive careers related to electrification, autonomy, and cybersecurity. She has created and led credentialing and certification programs for the defense sector, federal agencies, Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), and other industry-leading private entities. Additionally, as a software developer, Farnsworth has a proven track record in bringing to market resource allocation platforms capable of just-in-time dispatching of resources.

Elaina can be reached online at https://www.linkedin.com/in/elainafarnsworth/and at our company website http://www.skillfusion.com/

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